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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Jul 7, 2011 10:59am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Nicky Hopkins Was The Best Keyboard Player To Play With Jerry!

First of all Brent has no place in this conversation,and comparing the JGB'S output to that of the GD is ludicrous,it is like comparing a bar band to the Duke Ellington Orchestra.Nicky might have been fine with some boogie woogie shuffle on some simple Chuck Berry rockers or laid back ballads,but to put him on Keith's level as a serious improviser is laughable.I am constantly surprised by people who listen to this music and don't recognize Keith's huge contribution to the band.Jerry,Phil and Keith led the band through their peak period of 10/19/71-10/20/74,he was a key contributor to their most challenging and adventurous musical journeys.I don't know how Nicky would have fared in that role but I certainly do know that Keith was brilliant.Nicky was a fine rock and roll keyboard player,but the GD were far from just being a rock and roll band and I have my reservations about his ability to hang or create in the moment like Keith did.In listening to the JGB with Nicky,he seems to need to be out front,it almost seems like the Nicky Hopkins band.It is astounding how seamlessly Keith integrated himself into the band,if you listen to the Dark Star from 10/21/71 (his 2nd show) you can hear a new band and music forming right then and there, Jerry's playing was forever changed from that point on.

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Poster: duckpond74 Date: Jul 7, 2011 2:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Nicky Hopkins Was The Best Keyboard Player To Play With Jerry!

"Keith integrated himself into the band,if you listen to the Dark Star from 10/21/71 (his 2nd show) you can hear a new band and music forming right then and there, Jerry's playing was forever changed from that point on."

Interesting you would choose to reference that performance. The band, while playing that Dark Star right through that crazy jam into Sittin' On Top Of The World, is firing on more pistons than one can count. Fresh energy, positive synergy and a sense of wild abandonment came together to make this a watershed moment. I agree, and for my tastes, this has always seemed to be a lesser heralded but highly pivotal gig in the band's development.

"If you want professionalism, you'll have to pay an extra buck ..."

Keith was my favorite keyboard / piano player with the Dead. I saw Nicky play with Quicksilver and with the Stones and always felt that he raised the musical and performance bar in both bands. I was lucky enough to see JGB with Nicky, and with Keith. The energy and vibe was quite different between the two bands. I wouldn't compare them against each other since they were both quite enjoyable - and rewarding - each in their own way. I miss them both as musicians and innovators.

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Jul 7, 2011 8:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Nicky Hopkins Was The Best Keyboard Player To Play With Jerry!

Yes sir DP,I am in full agreement that 10/21 was an important show.That Dark Star seemed to be a jumping off point for a new and exciting version of the band,with a wide array of possibilities due to the skills of their new member.The previous performances of Dark Star and the Other One in 71' felt tired and dull,but in that 17 show run between OCT-DEC they delivered another great Dark Star on 12/5 and 3 excellent Other One's on 11/12,12/4 and 12/6.
As for the JGB with Nicky or Keith,I will have to admit I don't care for version with Nicky,but I did enjoy the 5 shows I saw with Keith.